Illinois residents who have suffered from a dog attack know that the bites can be deep, painful, and disfiguring. Even the smaller bites carry a risk of infection, and not caring for a bite injury properly can mean a longer recovery period and a bite wound that will heal less seamlessly.
WebMD states that almost all dog bite injuries should be looked at by a doctor, as at-home care simply won't cover all of the bases that need to be covered. When at home, a sufferer should wash the bite, disinfect it, and apply a bandage. However, the person who has been bitten must see a doctor if they don't know whose dog bit them, if they are unaware of the vaccination status of the dog, or if their immune system is compromised in some way.
Though the American Family Physician states that most dog bites are caused by dogs that the victim is familiar with, it doesn't mean that the bite won't be vicious or require medical attention. Dog bites can leave scars and may even be deep enough to require stitches. In certain extreme cases where mutilation occurs, skin grafts may even be necessary to restore the damage. Small bites can get infected as well, but these larger areas of damage are incredibly susceptible to infection both from regular injury exposure and from germs or diseases that may have been in the mouth of the dog.
For these reasons, it is important for dog bite victims to consider seeking professional medical help. Even if a bite may seem benign, having it looked at and cleaned can make all of the difference.